Corn Popping Methods: Kernels of Wisdom

Professional tips on the best corn popping methods to make your movie nights that much better.  Rose Augustyn, owner of Poppington’s Gourmet Popcorn in Greenville, South Carolina offers tips on various methods to try.

Stove Top 

  • Ease – 6/10 stars; Add 3 kernels to medium hot oil. When these pop, add 1/4c kernels. Cover pot and agitate.
  • Flavor -10/10 stars; Mist with oil; add seasonings. Or try popping with browned butter instead of oil.
  • Healthiness – 9/10 stars; Cook with olive oil or avocado oil to make it healthier.

Air Popper

  • Ease – 9/10 stars; Simply measure out kernels, dump into the popper and get your bowl ready.
  • Flavor – 3/10 stars; Mist plain popcorn with oil and add salt or spices to boost taste.
  • Healthiness – 10/10 stars; A cup of plain popcorn air-popped has just 31 calories.

Jiffy Pop

  • Ease – 8/10 stars; Still fun! Gently move package over the burner; watch it expand.
  • Flavor – 7/10 stars; Butter flavor and salt give it a classic taste.
  • Healthiness – 5/10 stars; Contains saturated fat, making it less healthy than air popped or stove top with olive or avocado oil.


  • Ease – 10/10 stars; Ensure the bag can spin inside the microwave. Otherwise, the contents burn.
  • Flavor – 2/10 stars; Some brands use imitation butter. Low moisture in corn causes un-popped kernels.
  • Healthiness – 2/10; it is more highly processed.

Bagged Popcorn

  • Ease – 10/10 stars; Open bag. Eat.
  • Flavor – 7/10 stars; It lacks just popped taste. Contents of the bag may crumble during transport.
  • Healthiness – 8/10 stars; Brands like SkinnyPop make a convenient snack, but practice portion control.

Be sure to check out the variety of popcorn offered at Fresh & Natural:

Popcorn Kernels: Arrowhead Mills Organic Popcorn Seeds, Organic White and Organic Yellow Seeds in Bulk

Microwave Popcorn: Field Day Microwave Organic Popcorn

Bagged Popcorn:  Skinny Pop, Boom Chicka Pop, Boom Chicka Pop White Cheddar, Lesser Evil Organic Popcorn Classic Cheddah, Vegan Rob’s Popcorn


Enjoy your next movie night with some delicious popcorn!





Author: Michelle Hanson

Michelle Hanson, MA, RD, LD is Fresh & Natural Food’s Registered Dietitian. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics with a minor in Community Health from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. She is a registered dietitian and current member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Michelle has been a nutrition consultant for numerous years as well as a nutrition research director at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.

Michelle is passionate about food and nutrition and believes in helping people find simple, realistic ways to make healthy eating a part of their everyday lifestyle.
If you are interested in meeting Michelle or have questions for her, you can email her at: She will look forward to meeting you!